Beyond the Lights (2014)
First screened in November 2014
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood. Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover, India Jean-Jacques, Richard Colson Baker, Jordan Belfi, Greg Davis Jr., Tyler Christopher, Aml Ameen, Darryl Stephens, Elaine Tan, Wren T. Brown, Tom Wright, Don Lemon, Gayle King, Estelle, Chaka Khan. Screenplay: Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Twitter Capsule: 50s-style emotional voluptuousness but specific to time, place, people. Rich undercoat of sadness. Actors great.

Second Capsule: NO. Don't let #BeyondTheLights go down like this at the box office. It is entertaining, emotionally ripe, smartly edited, wonderfully acted.

VOR:   Undisguised pulp, with juicy if shaky dramatic contrivances. But rarely do modern movies take this big a risk on melodrama. Counter-intuitively downcast tone speaks to smart direction.

Photo © 2014 Relativity Media

Not yet reviewed in full. Grade: B+

Academy Award Nominations:
Best Original Song: "Grateful"

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